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Researchers believe a permanent moon base would be crucial if astronauts were to be sent to Mars

A permanent base on the moon would be an important stepping stone to allow humans to explore Mars in person.  Scientists are currently working on technologies that may one day help towards the final goal of a moon base.   Putting a permanent base on the moon will not be as easy as portrayed in many science fiction movies:  along with not having an atmosphere, the astronauts will have to deal with extreme temperature swings, blankets of dust that ruin supplies and cosmic rays are just several examples of the dangers that await.

"It's deep in the future before we go there," said architect Larry Toups, head of habitation systems for NASA's Advanced Projects Office. "But it's like going on a camping trip and buying a new car. You want to make sure you have a trailer hitch if you need it."


The Swedish are also trying to build a self-sustaining colony that will allow astronauts to spend time on the moon.



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A Few Good Reasons
By Mclendo06 on 3/27/2006 9:54:12 AM , Rating: 3
Okay. As someone who works at NASA (for a NASA contractor, to be more precise) I think I should throw out some of the reasons for returning to the moon and getting a long-term station set up there. Here are a few reasons that come to mind-
1. The escape velocity from the moon's surface is ballpark 20% that of the escape velocity of the earth. Plus the moon has no atmosphere, so launching from the moon is a heck of a lot easier to do than launching from the earth.
2. The moon is extremely rich in a vast number of resources, in particular helium-3 (important substance for fusion). There is also a relatively high concentration of a lot of different metals. If we are to ever tap into these resources, we have to start somewhere. The moon isn't going to populate itself so this is a reasonable first step.

With Regards to Mars-
1. All potential mars mission profiles involve spending an extended time on the surface (I think about 6 months is the shortest surface duration I've seen). The moon is an excellent test-bed for such a long duration surface mission without the necessity of a 6 month journey to get there.
2. When samples come back from Mars, there is concern that they may contain contaminants which could be dangerous to earth (some Martian virus). If you recall from Apollo, there was a similar concern and the astronauts were quarantined after the mission. Mars is more hospitable to life than the moon and therefore the liklihood of bringing back some sort of contaminant is higher. First returning Martian material to the moon will protect the earth from such potential contamination.

These are just a few reasons why establishing a base on the moon is important in general as well as with respect to future Mars missions. A project like this costs a lot of money and therefore NASA would not undertake it if it were not important to the manned Mars mission.




RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 10:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
Let's throw out even more reasons why a lunar base would be valuable. It's combination of light gravity, free vacuum, much higher solar flux (read: cheap solar power) and high range of surface temperatures means that many industrial processes are much more practical there.

And lets not forget industrial waste. On Earth, disposing of toxic byproducts is becoming an ever-larger percent of the manufacturing cost. The moon has no atmosphere or hydrologic activity, though, so venting and dumping is no issue.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 10:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
I work for a NASA contractor as well and I feel like the reasons you gave for going to the moon are weak. Don't get me wrong, I want to go to the moon as much as the next space-nut but come on.
1. You are correct about the escape velocity being around 20% and there is essentially no atmosphere. But the problem remains that stuff going to Mars has to get to the Moon first. To do that you have to launch from Earth and then land on the Moon and then launch from the Moon again. That's not going to save any fuel. The only way this would be a benefit is if there is a manufacturing plant on the moon that would produce rocket fuel (somehow) and build rockets.
2. The fusion argument is pretty bogus. We still have yet to demonstrate fusion on Earth let alone on the hostile surface of the Moon.

Either way though, we will never be able to this any of this without actually establishing a base first. This is just the first step in a long journey.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 10:31:50 AM , Rating: 3
> "But the problem remains that stuff going to Mars has to get to the Moon first"

You misunderstand his point. The lunar station would be used as a testbed for a Martian mission, not a waypoint. Material launched from the moon would be, in nearly all cases, destined for the Earth or earth-orbit.


> "The only way this would be a benefit is if there is a manufacturing plant on the moon that would produce rocket fuel "

Just such a plan has been proposed and investigated already. However, refueling for a Mars mission is only a very minor reason for having a lunar base. There are far more tangible reasons for building one.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 10:54:12 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I understand that the Moon is just a testbed but that wasn't his point. I've read the NASA ESAS report and was involved with a NASA CE&R study.

> "launching from the moon is a heck of a lot easier to do than launching from the earth"

In the context of this statement, why would you launch from the Earth anything that would just go back to the Earth? So sending stuff to Earth from the Moon is easier than the other way around, you still need a way to send it back (fuel and rockets) and stuff to send (products).

And the second point is just refering to previous comment. Regardless, many tons of equipment will need to be sent just to establish the base and any manufacturing there.

I agree with you (masher2 >> logan77) that establishing a lunar base is very valuable in the long run but I just think you need to be upfront with the difficulties and challenges. I'm sort of playing the role of a devil's advocate, if you will.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 11:33:21 AM , Rating: 2
> "why would you launch from the Earth anything that would just go back to the Earth? "

We wouldn't. We'd launch infrastructure elements from Earth that would remain on the moon...and return processed materials derived from the lunar surface itself.

> "many tons of equipment will need to be sent just to establish the base and any manufacturing there."

Of course. Its a long-term effort that doesn't pay off immediately. Rather like the first colonies established in America.

> "I just think you need to be upfront with the difficulties and challenges"

I think they are.. They've acknowledged that a lunar base would be more challenging than one on Mars. If we can maintain people alive for half a year on Luna, then we can do the same on Mars.

The one signal differnece is that if something goes wrong on the Moon, help is only 3 days away.



RE: A Few Good Reasons
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 11:52:40 AM , Rating: 2
1. Of course that is what we'd do but that isn't what the root post was suggesting.
2. Yes and I'm not arguing that it isn't worth it.
3. Is "they" refering to NASA? I was refering to comments here on DailyTech or when discussing this out in the real world. One shouldn't go around saying that a lunar base is cake. I feel that you should acknowledge the challenges and the root post didn't.
4. I mentioned this earlier in response to logan77.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 11:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
#1. I think you may have misunderstood his intent. His point on launch costs preceeded the section specifically identifying benefits to a Mars mission.

Points 2,3,4. I think we're pretty much in agreement here.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 12:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct that the point about launch costs precede the seciton about Mars.
I am saying that if we are launching from the Moon, there are essentially two places we'd go with respect to the current discussion: Earth or Mars. Either way it doesn't make much sense unless the launched product was completely built and assembled on the Moon. I haven't seen any numbers yet that estimate when a lunar base would be self-sufficient let alone producing goods and cargo for export. Do you have any? Given the current pace of progress in space, it would seem to be around one hundred years. (It seems as though space development is working on a Inverse Moore's Law.)

I'm glad we're in agreement on the other points (finally).


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 1:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
> "I haven't seen any numbers yet that estimate when a lunar base would be self-sufficient let alone producing goods and cargo for export. Do you have any?"

I've read a number of analyses with estimates varying wildly, depending on the initial assumptions and definitions. For instance, if you strictly define "self sufficiency", then I think original British colonies in America are still struggling to make that goal today. :)

However, I do think if we can ever get a cheap heavy-lift capability, we can field an autonomous lunar colony within 15 years, and have it exporting back at least a limited amount of material within another 15 years. Add in the 20 years needed for a new launch platform, at that gives us a 50 year estimate. Optimistic obviously, but not wildly so.

Remember that we went from satellites being "impossible" to commercial viability in less than 20 years. We went from the Wright Brothers first flight to commercial flying in about the same period of time. Space flight can progress just as fast-- it simply needs the enabling technology of cheap lift capability to succeed.



RE: A Few Good Reasons
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 1:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
I would define self-sufficiency as the way a survivalist would: being able to live off the land without the need for outside help. Of course this is rather strict and perhaps unnecessary to maintain viability of a lunar base and I understand that their goal is to establish a research outpost much like the Antarctic station.

Your estimate is intriguing. Can you supply any explicit references? I'd like some for a paper I'm writing.

The examples you present are very interesting. If establishing a lunar base is technologically similar in magnitude to the Wright Brothers and the first communication satellites then the future will be very exciting. However, you should note that this progress was driven, in large part, by war (World War 1 and the Cold War, respectively). I hope we can achieve this without such a premise.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 1:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "I would define self-sufficiency as the way a survivalist would: being able to live off the land without the need for outside help"

But even a survivalist will need help, once his fancy camping gear begins to wear out. So I'd define self-sufficiency as being able to generate the basic raw materials needed to sustain life...but requiring the occasional trip from the earth to replenish certain basic tools and spare parts. Fair enough?

> "Your estimate is intriguing. Can you supply any explicit references?"

Pretty much all the research I'm familiar with dates from my days in grad school and my usenet arguments with Bob Zubrin...I'm a bit out of touch the past 15 years.

I did see some interesting research recently from U of Houston on assembling solar cells from lunar regolith. There are also some interesting mission plans up on the DigitalSpace Commons (at www,digitalspace.com).



RE: A Few Good Reasons
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 2:23:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "even a survivalist will need help, once his fancy camping gear begins to wear out"

I wouldn't really consider him to be a survivalist then. I'm talking about somebody that builds his shelter out of trees and leaves. I suppose clothes would be a problem as they would wear out but then I would expect him to hunt and use animal furs (not really possible on another planet). Fair enough.

> "my usenet arguments with Bob Zubrin"

Well that explains a bit. At the very least it explains why the estimate was optimistic. Nothing wrong with that of course. Thanks for the other pointers though.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 2:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
> " I'm talking about somebody that builds his shelter out of trees and leaves"

Using an axe that will eventually wear out? That's essentially what I'm talking about. A lunar colony would be judged autonomous, even if it didn't manufacture everything down to its own computer chips.

> "At the very least it explains why the estimate was optimistic"

I'm a long way from Zubrin-level optimism. :) He was claiming 15-year timetables to Martian colonies-- 15 years ago.



RE: A Few Good Reasons
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 10:27:35 AM , Rating: 2
Actually you didn't have to excplicitly state that you work for NASA - it's obvious :) .

ad 1) the escape velocity is lowest, _BUT_ what it's good for, if there is no fueal on the surface of Moon whatsoever ? You would like to land (needs as much fuel as starting, since there is no atmosphere), and then start just to have this 20% of V1 ? It's actually the same as travelling directly to Mars + 2xV1 (of Moon) - i.e. no benefit at all.

ad 2) yes He3 - the one for making slower fusion reactors... oh wait - we don't have any fusion reactors ... even here on Earth. There are no plans of building any in a forseeable future. So what was that again that we _need_ to go there for ? And one more thing - you either go there to do some mining, or you go there to make Mars base more feasible (which IMO is not the case) - why bolster one goal with alleged benefit from completely different (not yet) mission ?

-Mars

ad 1) What do you want to test ? Getting down the atmosphere ? Communitcation with earth some 100mln km away ? gravity 1/3 that of Earth's on a surface of Moon with 1/6 ? Influence of dust winds where the only wind is solar?

ad 2) You read to much comic books. Maybe you remember, that once people feared that nuclear explosion in atmosphere will eventually ignit it, and burn it down ? There is more than possibility, that if life once was (or still is) present on Mars, it could rich Earth with a meteorite impact - the same could happen the other way round. Nothing to be feared of, really :) . We have far broader spectrum of bacteria and viruses, which adapts to harm us even more, and we still live in quite a good health.

"First returning Martian material to the moon will protect the earth from such potential contamination. "
How ??? Are you sure you work for NASA contractor ? Maybe as a janitor (sorry - coulnd't resist myself). It's proved that bacteria can live for a subtantial amount of time in vacuum even exposed to UV radiation. Even more so fo viruses.

"A project like this costs a lot of money and therefore NASA would not undertake it if it were not important to the manned Mars mission."
How is fact that someone is doing sth. enough of explanation that it has to be done ? NASA are people. People tend to be wrong from time to time. Even more often, when politics is the driving factor.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 10:37:51 AM , Rating: 2
> "what it's good for, if there is no fueal on the surface of Moon"

Last time I checked, there is no rocket fuel on the surface on the earth either. We have to manufacture it...and the raw materials for such are available on the moon, just as they are the Earth.

> "oh wait - we don't have any fusion reactors ... even here on Earth"

Actually, we have several. They're just not commercially viable yet. Does that mean we should stop working on them, or planning for the future?

> "Mars...What do you want to test ?"

Long term human survivability, obviously. A lunar colony allows us to test colony autonomy. And being only three days away, it gives us an escape hatch if something goes wrong.

Don't try to second guess a team of Ph.D's when its obvious you haven't even read a single research paper on the subject. Go look one up...it'll tell you in depth exactly what they plan to test, and what issues they hope to identify.










RE: A Few Good Reasons
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 11:13:45 AM , Rating: 2
>"Last time I checked, there is no rocket fuel on the surface on the earth either. We have to manufacture it...and the raw materials for such are available on the moon, just as they are the Earth. "

You intend to shift this whole infrastructure that we have on Earth to Moon ? And what materials are available on the Moon, that will make trip to Mars more fesible ?

>"Actually, we have several. They're just not commercially viable yet. Does that mean we should stop working on them, or planning for the future?"

I explain it to others what you mean: "not commercially viable" means "you put more energy to it, than take from it" - it's not a power generator. It drains power. For now it's a toy. There are plans of making some testbed tocamacs (Japan?), but this is far from working, not to mention - on industrial scale (plasma is unstable).

>"Don't try to second guess a team of Ph.D's"

They are not in decisoin making chain, don't you agree ? Scientists don't make huge decision on future of agency which is a)government b) closly related to military

>".. when its obvious you haven't even read a single research paper on the subject. Go look one up..."

It's true - you apparantly did the job well. Now question: who wrote it ? - Was it some independence scientific scrutiny ? - I don't think so. You ask me why ? No ? I'll tell you anyway: becouse every kind of such research costs mony - who could have motivation for it, if there is no competitor for NASA ? There are only it'll tell you in depth exactly what they plan to test, and what issues they hope to identify. "

>"Last time I checked, there is no rocket fuel on the surface on the earth either. We have to manufacture it...and the raw materials for such are available on the moon, just as they are the Earth. "

You intend to shift this whole infrastructure that we have on Earth to Moon ?

>"Actually, we have several. They're just not commercially viable yet. Does that mean we should stop working on them, or planning for the future?"

I explain it to others, which my don't exacly know what you mean. "Not commercially viable" means "you put more energy to it, than take from it" - it's not a power generator. It drains power. For now it's a toy. There are plans of making some testbed tocamacs (Japan?), but this is far from working, not to mention - on industrial scale (plasma is unstable).

>"Don't try to second guess a team of Ph.D's"

They are not in decisoin making chain, don't you agree ? Scientists don't make huge decision on future of agency which is a)government (politics) b) closly related to military (or defense)

>".. when its obvious you haven't even read a single research paper on the subject. Go look one up..."

It's true - you apparantly did the job well. Now question: who wrote it ? - Was it some independence scientific scrutiny ? - I don't think so. You ask me why ? No ? I'll tell you anyway: becouse every kind of such research costs money - who could have motivation for it, if there is no competitor for NASA ? There are only contract companys (who like to do what NASA says, you don't say your client, that what he wants makes no sense).

>"it'll tell you in depth exactly what they plan to test, and what issues they hope to identify. "

I really doubt it, but what the heck - you read it - it wouldn't be to hard for you to point me a link to such "research paper" - It's hard to defend myself, when you use arguments like this.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 11:26:30 AM , Rating: 2
> "You intend to shift this whole infrastructure that we have on Earth to Moon ?"

Don't be silly. We don't need the entire infrastructure, just the small portion thats required to make rocket fuel. You do realize, don't you, thats its simply liquid oxygen and hydrogen-- and making those on the moon-- with its free vacuum and cryogenically low temperatures-- is quite trivial.

> "it's not a power generator.... For now it's a toy."

No. Its an object of research, not a toy. And you didn't answer the question. Are you seriously suggesting we should abandon research and forward planning, simply because it "doesn't work now"?

> "[Those Ph.Ds] are not in decisoin making chain, don't you agree ?"

You'll have a very hard time finding a scientist who doesn't believe a lunar presence would be extremely useful scientifically. Some are objecting because they want additional funds for their own projects, but there is unanimous consent over the mission itself having value.

> "Now question: who wrote [the research paper]? "

Even the way you phrase the question reveals your total misunderstanding of the subject. There is no one single paper....there have been literally thousands of research papers on the subject. I have several books of them on my shelves. Here's one-- "Resources of Near-Earth Space", compiled by Lewis et al. It runs around 1000 pages worth.





RE: A Few Good Reasons
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 12:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
>"Don't be silly. We don't need the entire infrastructure, just the small portion thats required to make rocket fuel. You do realize, don't you, thats its simply liquid oxygen and hydrogen-- and making those on the moon-- with its free vacuum and cryogenically low temperatures-- is quite trivial. "

If it's so, why there is no working example of such thing ? Not even a design, concept ? Maybe you would like to share with us your tremendous skill of hindsight. And from what would you like to obtain oxygen and hydrogen ? From soil ? Maybe from ice... which is hardly present ? - Remember - the article clearly states:
"A permanent base on the moon would be an important stepping stone to allow humans to explore Mars in person"
How on Eearth (or Moon perhaps) making this fuel on Moon make us closer to being on Mars ? It takes time & money to develop fuel station on a Moon. It takes time & money to develop procedures and equipment to make landinge on the Moon on a way to Mars.

>"No. Its an object of research, not a toy."
Nitpicking aren't we ? I mean it's not _yet_ feasible for use as a power generator for use in a manned mission to Mars (and i would bet my money, that it won't be in this century, if at all - call me pessimist - I prefer term "realist"). The estimation I heared for even smallest fusion reactors based on He3 is about 1000 tons of weight.

>"You'll have a very hard time finding a scientist who doesn't believe a lunar presence would be extremely useful scientifically."

But again (ang again and again and again): if you have scientic goals - achieve them in the shortest (meaning the easiest at lowest possible cost) possible way. If you want to go to Mars - go there, not thing how to make one more landing here and there, use technology which is not yet feasible (and no one knows if it will be) - if it's not necessary (meaning - no REAL benefit).
And you will have even harder time finding a scientist who wouldn't prefer to go Mars insted of Moon. I didn't claim, that Moon isn't scientifically interesting, although there are certainly more interesting ares of science, which one may explore at lower cost, with bigger outcome in return.

>"Even the way you phrase the question reveals your total misunderstanding of the subject. There is no one single paper...."

So you won't point me to any ?

>"there have been literally thousands of research papers on the subject."

And you read them all, as you claim they support your thesis ?

>"I have several books of them on my shelves. Here's one-- "Resources of Near-Earth Space", compiled by Lewis et al. It runs around 1000 pages worth."

1000 pages you say ? And this implies ... what ?? I don't say it's not good to go to Moon. I say it's not the best possible way to reach Mars (as is written in this article). If you want to explore Moon then if there is a benefit from it (scientific or literal) - well - go for it - but why claim, that we _need_ Moon to go to Mars or it makes us closer to it ?


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 12:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
This might help your understanding behind the reasoning for going to the Moon first. I stated this in response to one of your earlier comments.

quote:
The lunar base will allow us to explore and test out ideas that remain unanswered with regards to living on another planet or moon. This can all be done while only being a few days away from home as opposed to several months as it is on Mars. Going to Mars isn't as easy as just picking up and going. We still have many problems to solve.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 1:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
-> McTwist

I think I understand merits behind going to Moon. But I claim, that

a) if you want to go to Mars - then Moon is only a distractor. Example - if you want to take part in marathon - you have to train as one would to marathon - training for 5000m would definitely help in comparison to doing nothing at all, but in overall - you will have to spend more time on training, that you would have to if applied marathon training from the beginning... from the article - author claims, that " a permanent moon base would be crucial" to go to Mars... and I disagree - can someone tell for once, do you agree with this statement or not insted of saying that Moon is important ?

b) Moon is quite interesting by itself, but this has nothing to do (IMO) in making manned mission to Mars faster/at_lower_cost, than it would be when going directly to Mars.

You answered with your previous post, I'll do the same:
"What do you want to test ? Getting down the atmosphere ? Communitcation with earth some 100mln km away ? gravity 1/3 that of Earth's on a surface of Moon with 1/6 ? Influence of dust winds where the only wind is solar?"

->cgrecu77

You replied to me, but I understand that it was actually about me. Why "fanboy" and of what ? What motivation drives me then ? If you all want to go to Moon - no problemo - it's a decent quest, but when stating, that it makes us go sooner to Mars - then I have to strongly object.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 1:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
> "stating, that it makes us go sooner to Mars - then I have to strongly object."

Here's your confusion. A lunar base isn't to get us to Mars quicker, its to get us there SAFER . It allows us to test the technologies required for long-term human self-sufficiency in a hostile environment.

Sure, we could just draw some plans, pretend to test them in Antarctica, and hope for the best. But when something goes wrong on the Martian surface, help is years away.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By logan77 on 3/28/2006 1:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
>"Here's your confusion. A lunar base isn't to get us to Mars quicker, its to get us there SAFER . It allows us to test the technologies required for long-term human self-sufficiency in a hostile environment."

You put to much emphasize on single words. By "quicker" I meant "without distraction on unrelated projects". And there were people (on Mir) spending comparable amount of time in total weightlessness that manned mission to mars requires (it's 3 years). All is needed is to test life surveillence system (especially water reaclaiming), but you really don't have to go with this to Moon just to have it checked.

>"Sure, we could just draw some plans, pretend to test them in Antarctica, and hope for the best. But when something goes wrong on the Martian surface, help is years away. "

What is the best way to learn how to swim ? To go right into deep water. You suggest to go play in the mud first pretending it's water. I say it won't work.
You said in some previous post, that it's a scientist decision to go to Moon first. I'd like to see a poll - how many think it's "crucial", and how many would rather concentrate their efforts on Mars itself.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/28/2006 3:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
> "there were people (on Mir) spending comparable amount of time in total weightlessness that manned mission to mars requires "

No, you're still confused. We're not trying to test keeping people alive in SPACE, we're trying to test keeping them alive on the surface of MARS. In many ways, a significantly more challenging task. You have corrosive dust, gravity (meaning your structures actually require structural strength, unlike those on Mir or the ISS) and you're in contact with the ground, meaning conductive heat loss. In space, you're essentially in an enormous vacuum thermos...shedding your own waste heat is the problem.

There are many other issues to be tested. I repeat my earlier question. Why not read up a bit on the subject, instead of challenging it from ignorance?

> "What is the best way to learn how to swim ? To go right into deep water"

Sorry, but your analogy fails. By this logic, tin 1960 the US should have skipped Mercury and Gemini altogether, and simply gone straight to the moon, without ever having even launched a man into orbit once.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By logan77 on 3/28/2006 4:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
>"No, you're still confused. We're not trying to test keeping people alive in SPACE, we're trying to test keeping them alive on the surface of MARS. In many ways, a significantly more challenging task.You have corrosive dust,..."

I still think Moon will not be good place to test those techonologies needed for mars trip. Moon and mars are to different one from another - the dust you talk about is completely different, there are no winds on Moon.

>"... gravity (meaning your structures actually require structural strength, unlike those on Mir or the ISS)"

As to dealing with gravity - we do it quite good here on Earth with 3 times the value that of Mars's - what's your point ?

>"and you're in contact with the ground, meaning conductive heat loss."

Yes - and "we" will resolve those problems no sooner then "we" build a base on Moon ?

>"There are many other issues to be tested. I repeat my earlier question. Why not read up a bit on the subject, instead of challenging it from ignorance?"

Becouse I'm prejudiced to such peculiarities. It's a way of forming your opinion - by not letting everything that's "out there" to access your brain. After closer investigation I could consider for example (as may be the couse with you), that Moon is by itself important/interesting. However after closer investigation everything is more interesting than it was before. It is easier IMO to judge certain things from "safe distance", the moment just before you get to immersed with your (from now) "favourite" concept. I probably made this mistake already - read R.Zubrins "Case for Mars" to many times :) . It's pleasant reading I must say, not very technical. So I stand here debunked by myself naked in front of you ... what will you say this time ? :)

>"Sorry, but your analogy fails. By this logic, tin 1960 the US should have skipped Mercury and Gemini altogether, and simply gone straight to the moon, without ever having even launched a man into orbit once. "

I see it differently. It's more like you suggest, that US instead of going to Moon "by the end of decade" they (you?) should first "testbed" every technology that will be used there on Antarctica (for substantial amount of time). But than you would never go to Moon in 1969. If at all....(hint: the funding will finally end). I didn't say that "we" should go to Mars tomorrow - just start preparing for it, not to pretend that we do. I can admit that you have (probably) far superior knowledge in this area than I. However - knowing every possible move in a part of chess you can make does not imply you will make the good one (assuming you want to win).
When it comes to not yet well explored ground (space exploration) - even the brightest minds have problems solving what is plausible, what will be most beneficial. In one of your posts you said that sattelites would show up later without Apollo program - that would mean that it had eluded everyone that it might be worth doing (the sattelites). How could it be, if the idea behind it is very simple ?

and I'm not confused... please stop using this phrase


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 2:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
masher2 is precisely correct.

1. What you are proposing is going out tomorrow and running a marathon without any training. The way I understand marathon training (I'm not a marathon runner so this is just what I've heard from friends) is that you never actually run a marathon before your first marathon. Rather you work your way up to it by running quarter and half marathons and then you "peak" when you actually run a marathon. This analogy is exactly what is proposed to be done. We need to show that we actually can live in a hostile environment for a while before we can finally achieve the real goal of going to Mars.

2. In your opinion, it seems (IMO), that America should be working for you. We want to test our ability to live on Mars by living on the Moon. We already now how to enter an atmosphere from the numerous entries done here on Earth even though Mars poses a challenge because its atmosphere is so thin. Communications has already been demonstrated with MPF and MER. The gravity of Mars is actually better for humans than that of the Moon (less bone damage because you weigh more). The dust on the Moon is likely to be harsher than the dust on Mars. The martian wind drives erosion which tends to make the dust more sand like (i.e. roundish) whereas the dust on the moon has been created by catastrophic events like meteorite impact which makes sharp edges and can get into the joints of spacesuits and causes other problems.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 2:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
> "1. What you are proposing is going out tomorrow and running a marathon without any training."

You express it much better than did I. In addition to its other benefits, a lunar base is "marathon training" for a run to Mars.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By logan77 on 3/28/2006 2:07:50 PM , Rating: 2
>"What you are proposing is going out tomorrow and running a marathon without any training. "

Not going out tomorrow and run a marathon, but start preparing for it. The sooner you start training for this distance, the sooner you will be ready. You propose to run short distances as a preparation for this 41.5 km run. It's ok. But it would be better to start training precisely for marathon.

>"We need to show that we actually can live in a hostile environment for a while before we can finally achieve the real goal of going to Mars. "

But "we" already showed this - many people spend over a year on orbit - how is it different from cruising far away in mars direction ? Be more specific: what is not ready yet, what going to Moon will help work out ?

>"We want to test our ability to live on Mars by living on the Moon."

Again: be more specific - what do you want to test ? Low gravity influence ? (IMO it's ..pardon my french.. bullshit) Every other part that you would probably like to test on Moon has already been proved working or can be tested some other way or simply can't be tested on Moon (rotating part of last rocket stage on a rope to imitate gravital acceleration - if sth. like this will be even considered, engines).

>"In your opinion, it seems (IMO), that America should be working for you."

I think I present more cosmopolitan approach - thats all. You seem to identify America as a single organism, which it is simply not. Maybe when EU finally will sort bureaucratic mess out and you will fill some competition on your back (talking about science) you will finally come to your senses.

>"We already now how to enter an atmosphere from the numerous entries done here on Earth even though Mars poses a challenge because its atmosphere is so thin."

Maybe we should ask "Mars Polar Lander" crew ? :) There (on Mars) has never landed ship of the size (weight), which is required to carry (4-6?) people. I say it's the most difficult and important part of the whole evdeavour. It can't be tested on Moon. For life surveillance system testing LEO is good enough.


By cgrecu77 on 3/27/2006 12:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
common, he's an obvious "fanboy" who makes a statement and then goes to the end of the world to support it... Going to the moon is such an obvious thing to do for millions of reasons.

Where there could be a debate is wether the cost can be justified at this point (for example, are we ready from a technology point of view to do this when we can't really support the ISS too well).

Another "ethical" question is if this should also be an international project. I agree that anything international is going to be much more difficult to achieve due to conflicting interests and national pride (take UN for example, sounded like a wonderful idea at the time but it didn't accomplish anything meaningful over the last 50 years or so ...).

However, the moon is no regular colony and no country should be allowed to take a monopoly over that. I realise that one could reply that the moon is open and anybody could go there, but, realistically speaking, only US and *maybe* Russia have the technology to do it. A few other countries are probably closing in, but they're either lacking the technology or the funding. I can see the chinese going to the moon, but I definitely don't see the EU doing that - it would take 20 years just to approve the project 20 more to raise the funding and another 20 to agree who to lead the mission, the french or the germans ... :)


By McTwist on 3/27/2006 1:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
At this point I agree with you that it is pointless to continue the discussion with logan77. But I think he's more of a "hater" than a "fanboy" because he's not really a fan of anything. He just hates the fact that America is sovereign, has the ability to accomplish so much, and that his country is so dependant on how much science is output by America.
I feel that we (masher2 more so than I) have exposed the underlying reasons of his argumant and their irrational foundation. I feel that that is important for anybody that reads his comments.


By logan77 on 3/27/2006 2:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
>"At this point I agree with you that it is pointless to continue the discussion with logan77"

Well thank you very much.

>"But I think he's more of a "hater" than a "fanboy" "

This came to me as a kind of shock. How is it possible to draw such conclusions from my posts ? Hate what ? Man - really - I'm speechless.

>"because he's not really a fan of anything."

How about science progress/technology development/ manned mission to Mars ??? Ringing any bells ? - this whole subject is about making trip to Mars feasible.

>"He just hates the fact that America is sovereign, has the ability to accomplish so much, and that his country is so dependant on how much science is output by America. "

Wow - I see you enjoy yourserlf now. Now really - I don't even know how to start replying to this. I am very ->fond<- of what America achieved in a field of science etc. I like to hear about your (our? - no? ok. YOURS) successes. But claiming that Poland depends on output from your instruments (no pun intended) is inaccurate to say the least. What science ? Space science ? It's more like "technology" than science, and yes very costly for that matter. And theorists always need data from some source, no matter country of origin. I don't perceive my contry not having a space station over our heads as a big drawback to our science - few planets discovered lately with a small 1.3 m telescope, we are rather strong in physics of huge energies (part in LHC project and other CERN).
I also hope that people can make conclusions from these posts for themselves.


By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 2:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
> " this whole subject is about making trip to Mars feasible. "

So why not read up on why a lunar base is a neccesary prerequisite for that, instead of spending your time here complaining about US foreign politics?

> "claiming that Poland..."

Ah, Poland. Well, I got the language family correct, even if I missed your country by a few miles. Syntactic patterns are quite revealing.

> "...depends on output from your instruments...is inaccurate"

You were the one making the claims, not us.




By McTwist on 3/27/2006 2:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
You're welcome.

> "This came to me as a kind of shock ... Hate what ?"
Perhaps something is lost in the translation. A "hater" just means that you get upset when you see somebody else have something good going for them.
I already explained what you "hated." Again the term "hate" is probably too strong but that's slang for you.

> "this whole subject is about making trip to Mars feasible."
Exactly. So why are you arguing to do it faster when all you want to do is make it feasible. Just getting to Mars is easy. Actually staying there is hard. (Point taken about being a fan of science. I thought about that when I was writing but wrote it anyways.)

> "I like to hear about your (our? - no? ok. YOURS) successes"
Read the post again. Nowhere do I refer to myself as contributing to this success. Regardless, I've already stated that I work for a NASA contractor. But I'm still young; I'm still in grad school (actually I should be writing my thesis instead of adding fuel to this fire). Any more detail than that would be too personal. I still have many years to make my contribution. I was more defending the work of my predecessors (many of whom I work with or have taken classes from) than defending my own.

> "It's more like 'technology' than science"
I believe technology and science go hand in hand hence the term "rocket science" when "rocket engineering" would be more appropiate.

> " I also hope that people can make conclusions from these posts for themselves."
Likewise.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 1:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
> "If it's so, why there is no working example of such thing ? Not even a design, concept ? "

Oops again. I've seen at least three dozen different design concepts, many of which included engineering schematics and associated data. Many of these included actual experimental work in building and testing the design here on Earth.

> "from what would you like to obtain oxygen and hydrogen ?"

From ilmenite reduction through methane, CO, or carbochlorinization, molten silicate electrolysis, carbothermal reduction, vapor phase reduction pyrolysis, ionic separation, or HF acid dissolution, just to name a few of the proposed processes.

> "The estimation I heared for even smallest fusion reactors based on He3 is about 1000 tons of weight. "

What point do you think you're making? We wouldn't need to ship a fusion reactor to the moon-- we'd ship the He3 here to earth.

And you're still not addressing the point. Yes fusion power is not viable today. Are you seriously advocating we stop trying to exploit it?

> "if you have scientic goals - achieve them in the shortest (meaning the easiest at lowest possible cost) possible way...

A US lunar mission achieves a scientific goal at ZERO cost to you. So where's your beef? Still trying to tell us how we should best spend our own money to benefit you?

> "And you read them all, as you claim they support your thesis ? "

By no means have I read them all. But of all those that I did, they supported my position.

Now answer the question-- how many have YOU read? From the fact you thought there was just "one paper" earlier, I strongly suspect the answer is...zero.



RE: A Few Good Reasons
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 2:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
>"What point do you think you're making? We wouldn't need to ship a fusion reactor to the moon-- we'd ship the He3 here to earth."

And I thought that somewhere in this news (quest - find it, becouse I really doubt you read it), ok. I'll help you:
"permanent moon base would be crucial if astronauts were to be sent to Mars"
Tell me - how does your He3 make it crucial to have a base on the Moon to get to Mars ?

>"And you're still not addressing the point. Yes fusion power is not viable today. Are you seriously advocating we stop trying to exploit it?"

Do I have to answer ? Did say that ? I will say it for thousandth time : Moon base is not ->in my opinion<- by any means ->crucial<- for manned mission to Mars.

>"A US lunar mission achieves a scientific goal at ZERO cost to you. So where's your beef? Still trying to tell us how we should best spend our own money to benefit you?"

Still being arrogant as before ?

>"Now answer the question-- how many have YOU read? From the fact you thought there was just "one paper" earlier, I strongly suspect the answer is...zero. "

Your right. That is probably why I politely asked you to give me some examples of such work (1000 pages book won't do - books are not, as opposed to scientific papers that are published in e.g. Physicall Review Letters, reviewed by other scientists in the field of study) - and you still haven't. I have no choice but to believe you had reason for this.

I admit - either I am stupid, or you just plainly can't read with understanding even simple text... or both :) (the math classes finally payed off) - it's a joke - you can smile now.


RE: A Few Good Reasons
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 2:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
> "Tell me - how does your He3 make it crucial to have a base on the Moon to get to Mars ? "

Why no one ever said anything even remotely resembling that. Go back and read it again. He3 mining is a long-term tertiary benefit of a lunar colony.

We already explained-- multiple times-- why a lunar colony is extremely helpful for a Mars mission. Did you miss those posts, or just fail to comprehend them?

That is probably why I politely asked you to give me some examples of such work (1000 pages book won't do - books are not, as opposed to scientific papers...

Oops, wrong again. The title I gave you was a compilation of scientific research papers, with 86 contributing authors, and published as part of the Space Science Series by U of A press. The footnotes alone list several hundred additional papers, published in dozens of different research journals.

> "Still being arrogant as before ? "

Now its arrogant to wonder why you're so concerned about how we spend our own tax dollars? How ludicrous.


Uh Oh...
By lexmark on 3/27/2006 8:40:49 AM , Rating: 2
"Researchers believe a permanent moon base would be crucial if astronauts were to be sent to Mars"

Doom 3 in the making? :=)




RE: Uh Oh...
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 9:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
Actually it's Doom3 delayed. Moon is in ->no<- way important for going to Mars. However it's important for NASA execs to go there, becouse a)it requires more money and time to make a 2 stage trip, especially with crucial element like landing (which obviously adds another factor of possible failure) b)it's easier to build a base on the Moon, then do it on Mars (I know they claim it's a fase one of going to Mars, but if it's not accounted as a part of building a Mars base, then it's a Moon base, with Mars fallowing .... some later time ... on a film..maybe). NASA execs are not that much into achieving real goals, they are much in the position of doing things as long as they can (how about obligatory scrutiny of influence of long time human body exposures on low gravity ?), space station (science center on orbit ? yeah wright! so many articles were published on work derived from there, soooo many), oh! - and sorry guys :) - the Space Shuttle - but hey - did could have new generation unmanned vihicle (VentureStar) - they almost had the prototype (X-33):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-33< /a>



RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 10:05:28 AM , Rating: 2
A moon base is, though, something which would actually be extremely useful commercially and industrially. That stands in sharp contrast to a presence on Mars, which would only be useful for research purposes.


RE: Uh Oh...
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 10:10:31 AM , Rating: 3
You make it sound like NASA is a business by refering to NASA execs. There is absolutely no reason why a NASA "exec" would benefit from planning a long expensive mission.

P.S. It is hard to understand anything you are saying.


RE: Uh Oh...
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 10:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
I meant about those in charge of this "company". They should be efficient and effective, don't you think so ?
How about landing on the Moon in 60's ? It was long expensive mission (not necessarily scientificly warrant, teflon on cooking pans for 100bln$$$ - that's pretty expensive) - and it gave NASA tremendous resources both in people and money. The same here - if someone is gonna persuade someone influential in Washington (they did it with Space Station, .. sorry ->International<- Space Station), then they will have more money. I am not saying, that trip to Mars is easier, but if you want to go to Mars, then you go to Mars, not to Moon claiming it's the first step to Mars - becouse it _isn't_ .

sorry for bad style :) - I'll try to conduct myself in a more clear way


RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 10:54:32 AM , Rating: 3
> "How about landing on the Moon in 60's ? It was long expensive mission (not necessarily scientificly warrant, teflon on cooking pans for 100bln$$$"

Ignorant comments like this really make me laugh. Did they stop teaching science totally in our public schools?

Do you have any idea how many thousands of lives and trillions of dollars have been saved just from one small offspring of the Apollo program- weather satellites.

That's one item. There are several thousand others. The Mercury/Gemini/Apollo have paid for themselves a hundred times over.



RE: Uh Oh...
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 11:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
>"Ignorant comments like this really make me laugh. Did they stop teaching science totally in our public schools? "

First - I am glad I made you laugh. Frequent laughing prolongs life. Second - I am not American - english isn't even my primary - I think you just complimented me :) .

"Do you have any idea how many thousands of lives and trillions of dollars have been saved just from one small offspring of the Apollo program- weather satellites."

And it wasn't feasible without manned mission to Moon at lower cost ? If you want to build a sattelite, you build a sattelite, not send people to Moon (which is cool, but not scientifically warrant - i.e. there are higher science_outcome/cost ratio things to do). Sattelites are not offspring of Apollo - they would show up without it.

>"That's one item. There are several thousand others. The Mercury/Gemini/Apollo have paid for themselves a hundred times over. "

This was more like a joke, sorry for not being more accurate expressing my thoughts. I mean just that - you could do all this stuff at lower cost, investiong _directly_ in technology, not in a space mission program. However then (and in my opinion now, although not to that extent) big space program that proofs some countrys superiority over another has much broather support from politics, than a pure science program on the same scale (which isn't usually that exciting for general public).


RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 11:38:11 AM , Rating: 3
> "I am not American - english isn't even my primary"

I was correcting your knowledge of science, not attacking your English skills.

> "And it wasn't feasible without manned mission to Moon at lower cost ? "

You quoted the entire cost of Mercury/Gemini/Apollo. I quoted you just ONE offshoot of that program that paid back the entire cost ten times over.

What point were you trying to make again?

> "However...big space program that proofs some countrys superiority over another has much broather support from politics"

Ah, now we get to the real root of your objection. Since the cost of the mission isn't coming out of your own tax dollars-- and you also took aim at the war in Iraq-- this is all revealed as a little closet anti-Americanism.



RE: Uh Oh...
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 12:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
>"I was correcting your knowledge of science, not attacking your English skills."

You said "our schools" which means "amercica schools" - I didn't say you had attacked my English skills. It was a side note.

>"What point were you trying to make again? "

The point was it was not Apollo program that put those sattelites into orbit. They were separate programs. And that again (chisus!@%#) if you want a satellite - you can build one, instead of developoing the whole manned mission to Moon, just to have this sattelite thing as an "offspring".

>"Ah, now we get to the real root of your objection. Since the cost of the mission isn't coming out of your own tax dollars-- and you also took aim at the war in Iraq-- this is all revealed as a little closet anti-Americanism. "

Now - it's the dummiest comment so far. Culturally I feal partly American (I can admit it). The geographical constrains are not very limiting in these days (films, internet, television).
And why can't I be unhappy with your government foreign politics (just a small fraction of it actually) without being judged as "anti-Americanism" ??? I regret that in XXI century people are still willing to pay much more for waging war instead of science/technology/environmant/culture (so called quality of life). If it's anti-americanism - so be it.



RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 12:47:11 PM , Rating: 4
> "The point was it was not Apollo program that put those sattelites into orbit. They were separate programs. "

Mercury/Gemini/Apollo were all conceived and funded as part of the same initiative. The "separate" part is strictly nomenclature, meant to indicate milestones.

> "if you want a satellite - you can build one, instead of developoing the whole manned mission"

You miss the entire point of basic research. In 1960, we didn't even know we wanted weather satellites or any of the other technologies that the moon mission enabled. Heavy lift technology. Advanced aeronautics materials. Microminiaturization. Hydroponics. Extremely long range communications and telemetry. Earth monitoring. Solar power cells. The list is endless.

Let me give you just one more example. Research into insulating spacesuits from the cold lunar surface led to advanced insulating films, which today are being used in buildings around the world. Giving us a cumulative savings of tens of billions in energy costs, not to mention the environmental benefits.

If you think we could have just "gone straight for the better insulation", you have no idea how research works. It's very difficult to direct-- it leads you in expected directions, and benefits you in ways you don't expect.

> "And why can't I be unhappy with your government foreign politics "

Because this thread is about a US moon mission, and its scientific cost/benefit ratio. Using it as a platform for "being unhappy about" US foreign politics is sheer histrionics.




RE: Uh Oh...
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 12:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
If you aren't an American, then what's the problem? You won't be spending any money on this. Why don't you debate your own countries space program?
(Even if you are an American, you'd only be spending an average of $0.15 per day on the entire NASA budget. That's it; $0.15/day.)
While small satellites aren't the offspring of Apollo, large satellites and the Space Shuttle, which carried many of them (i.e. Hubble), are. And Hubble would still have fuzzy worthless images if the astronauts hadn't repaired it. You are right, though, that satellites would still be around without Apollo but their progress would have been much slower and they wouldn't be able to be repaired in orbit.
Again, I don't see why you are so upset about something that doesn't even effect you seeing as how you aren't an American.


RE: Uh Oh...
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 12:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
I must say I completely don't understand your point of view. It's not about money! It's about common knowledge about our world that we derive from scientific research and technology progress. If someone in usa makes a discovery - the splendor and acknowledgment is his, but the discovery is for everyone to "enjoy" (or just to have a look at). Why would you like to see people on Moon/Mars, if it weren't you personally who would go there ?

>"Why don't you debate your own countries space program?"

Becouse we don't have space program :) . If we were - I would surely have done this. And why assume, that if I am interested in what NASA is doing, I am not interested in my own country state of science ? I see there can be made some improvement - so I expressed my opinion on the subject (I don't command anyone to do anything). And you probably wouldn't like me to debate my countries problems in posts under article related to NASA plans, would you ?

>"Again, I don't see why you are so upset about something that doesn't even effect you seeing as how you aren't an American. "

I really think that it affects me almost as much as you :) , although I don't pay "an average of $0.15 per day" for it. I have a work to do for tomorrows semminary at school - guess whose work I'll be presenting ? American scientists :) - based on results from ... american telescopes ;)


RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 12:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "It's not about money!"

So why do your posts continually complain about the amount of money "wasted" on a lunar mission?

> It's about common knowledge about our world that we derive from scientific research and technology progress

Relax. This mission will contribute greatly to research and technological progress. And we're footing the entire bill...you get the benefits for free.

> "I really think that it affects me almost as much as you :) I have a work to do for tomorrows semminary at school - guess whose work I'll be presenting ? "

So you want us to spend our tax dollars in a manner best suited to you, when you don't live here and contribute nothing to the cost?

If I guess your nationality right, that is an extremely nyeh'kulturny attitude to take.


RE: Uh Oh...
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 1:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
>"So why do your posts continually complain about the amount of money "wasted" on a lunar mission? "

Becouse.... it could be spent wiser ? (I suppose)

>"Relax. This mission will contribute greatly to research and technological progress. And we're footing the entire bill...you get the benefits for free. "

You express "we", as if you would be talking about some family. It's 240 mln people, and your part in it can be easily dismissed, actually you did it here:

"Small corection. Since corporations and the top 5% of wageearners in the US pay the lion's share of taxes, the average cost to a median US citizen is actually far less than this. "

You are sometimes so proud of yourselves just becouse you were born in this country - that's hardly an achievement - I hope you'll agree with me.

>"So you want us to spend our tax dollars in a manner best suited to you, when you don't live here and contribute nothing to the cost? "

What I want here is of no importance. I was _merely_ expressing my opinion. Can I do just that? (it's like what ? - first ammendment ? - the thing you Amercians tend to be so proud of?)
And next time you spend 100 mln $ on a space mission stop by here and give us a note. And one more - you don't pay for this NASA thing (part of tax) out of free will, do you ? The taxes are "forced" on you, so are targets they are spent on. So much of your ... contribution.

."If I guess your nationality right, that is an extremely nyeh'kulturny attitude to take."

I'll give you the comfort actually answering this (since your guess was wrong :) ) - bingo! - you've got me - nothing to hide from you ?
But I must say I perceive your altitude as niekulturalny (single word) too. As I said before - I don't tell anyone what to do with "your" money. I disagreed with the scientists assertion this article quoted and you drifted from topic far far away discussing antiamerican stance, nationality - can't you be more on the merits of the subject instead of endulging yourself in personal attacks ? Non of your claims are firm so far. And I don't expect this to change.


RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 2:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
> "You express "we", as if you would be talking about some family. It's 240 mln people...

298 million actually. You were wrong by about the population of France. Or, in other words-- closer than you've been on most subjects here :)

> "and your part in it can be easily dismissed, actually you did it here: "Small corection. Since corporations and the top 5% of wageearners in the US pay the lion's share of taxes..

Actually, as a Chapter S corporation and being in the top 5% bracket, I fit both categories, but thank you anyway.

> " I was _merely_ expressing my opinion. Can I do just that? (it's like what ? - first ammendment ? - the thing you Amercians tend to be so proud of?)"

Careful, more of your anti-American attitude is surfacing. By all means, express your opinion. No one is trying to stop you. We're just pointing out the flaws in your "reasoning".

> "you don't pay for this NASA thing (part of tax) out of free will, do you ?"

In my own particular case, I do. Freely and gladly. And I send repeated requests to my elected representatives, asking them to increase NASA's share of my tax bill.

> "I don't tell anyone what to do with "your" money. I disagreed with the scientists assertion "

In addition to "disagreeing with the assertion", you took issue with cancellation of the SSC, delays in the JWST, our war in Iraq, and several other things. And took time to tell us how much the rest of the world needs the results of US research.

Sure sounds to me like you're telling us how to spend our money.

> "I'll give you the comfort actually answering this (since your guess was wrong :) )"

Out of curiosity, what is your nationality then?




RE: Uh Oh...
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 3:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
>"298 million actually. You were wrong by about the population of France. Or, in other words-- closer than you've been on most subjects here :) "

It's hardly a merit of being wrong. I was pointing to order of magnitude (if it was important to the discussion I would have checked).

>"Actually, as a Chapter S corporation and being in the top 5% bracket, I fit both categories, but thank you anyway. "

Congratulations then. Really.

>"Careful, more of your anti-American attitude is surfacing. By all means, express your opinion. No one is trying to stop you. We're just pointing out the flaws in your "reasoning". "

<joke/>Yes as hater I must say that I am against everything (can I be ? - what about being against being against ?) <joke>
I perceived it otherwise. If anything my country is perceived as to much pro-american.

>"In my own particular case, I do. Freely and gladly. And I send repeated requests to my elected representatives, asking them to increase NASA's share of my tax bill. "

And kudos to you for that.

>"you took issue with cancellation of the SSC, delays in the JWST, our war in Iraq, and several other things"

That's becouse I am convinced, that decisions that are made such as manned mission to Mars, Space Telescope or SSC have lot to do what doeas your government (not scientists!) have to say. Decision of drowning SSC when it was half way done was a political one (budget), JWST was scheduled few years ago to lift off in 2008, now it's 2013. And I really feel, that this "great" Moon come back after 40 years is only becouse some countries expressed their will to go there by themselves, as a way of showing who is the boss here (that would be very prestigeus achievement for China - would certainly boost trust in their electronics for example, not to mention political benefits in the region).

>"Out of curiosity, what is your nationality then? "

Oh sorry. - I meant "since your first guess was wrong" - it's Poland. You wrote something very resembling (in terms of pronounciation) our language, so I presumed You already guessed. Did you geuss correctly ? .. I've just read you didn't. Bah! should have been teasing with you some more ;).

regards (from polish hater :) )

PS I really can't continue this discussion today - I'll be back tomorrow (promise)


RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 3:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
> I am convinced, that decisions that are made such as manned mission to Mars...have lot to do what doeas your government (not scientists!) have to say...

Of course. The same is true in Poland as well. Thats the price of living in a democracy. "Scientists" don't make all the decisions...the people do.

However, that does not mean in this case the decision is "wrong". In fact it is not. The decision to go to MARS was a political one...most scientists are satisfied with robotic exploration of the solar system.

The decision to testbed the Mars mission on the moon first was made by scientists. Not politicians.

> "You wrote something very resembling (in terms of pronounciation) our language, so I presumed You already guessed. "

I guessed Russian from your speech patterns. But then Polish and Russian are nearly identical anyway...though someone who is Polish might take offense at that statement :)

And no, I'm not a "Polish-hater", though its been many years since I was last there.


RE: Uh Oh...
By logan77 on 3/28/2006 1:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
>"However, that does not mean in this case the decision is "wrong". In fact it is not. The decision to go to MARS was a political one...most scientists are satisfied with robotic exploration of the solar system."

Yes, no :) , yes, and yes - 3 out of 4 - that's progress .

>"The decision to testbed the Mars mission on the moon first was made by scientists. Not politicians."

Agree, however scientist are much more patient, than average mortal human being.

>"I guessed Russian from your speech patterns. But then Polish and Russian are nearly identical anyway...though someone who is Polish might take offense at that statement :) "

You said that :) Maybe for "outsider" they are identical - but I don't understand this language a bit. What patterns ? Clumsy word mixing ? What is so apparent in the way I write ?

>"And no, I'm not a "Polish-hater", though its been many years since I was last there."

I meant pl-hatter = mua :) . When and where, if I may ask, were you in Poland ? How do you like our new president :) ?


RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/28/2006 3:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
> "Agree [that the decision to testbed on Luna first was made by scientists]"

Lol...but this is just the point you were arguing AGAINST for most of the thread. You claimed the trip to the moon was politically based, with no real scientific value. Now you admit otherwise?

Have you finally seen the error of your ways, or is this some sort of deranged debating tactic?

> "scientist are much more patient, than average mortal human being."

You haven't met many scientists then.

> "What is so apparent in the way I write ? "

Your use of conjugation, pluralization, and articles identifies you as a Slavic-language speaker.

> "When and where, if I may ask, were you in Poland ?"

I was last there in the early 1990s, taking the train from Warsaw (Varsawa?) to Moscow.



RE: Uh Oh...
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 12:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
> "you'd only be spending an average of $0.15 per day on the entire NASA budget. That's it; $0.15/day"

Small corection. Since corporations and the top 5% of wageearners in the US pay the lion's share of taxes, the average cost to a median US citizen is actually far less than this.

> "Again, I don't see why you are so upset about something that doesn't even effect you seeing as how you aren't an American"

He explained why--jealousy. He sees the US space program as demonstrating technological superiority over other nations.



RE: Uh Oh...
By McTwist on 3/27/2006 11:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that the administration should be efficient and effective. I was at a talk a couple weeks ago by Admin. Griffin and he seemed very efficient and effective. (Don't ask him silly quiestions because he will rip you apart. Quite funny for a spectator.)

Landing on the Moon in the 60's wasn't long and I don't consider it expensive considering we still use a lot of the tech orignally developed for that. Despite the benefits, Apollo was from a different time. The world was much different with the Cold War and all.

The lunar base will allow us to explore and test out ideas that remain unanswered with regards to living on another planet or moon. This can all be done while only being a few days away from home as opposed to several months as it is on Mars. Going to Mars isn't as easy as just picking up and going. We still have many problems to solve.

Thanks for your consideration with regards to the style. If you are going to make an argument, make it clear.


Technology, Analogies, and misc.
By rcc on 3/28/2006 6:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know that I really want to dive into this mess, but here goes.

Most (I was torn between "Almost all", "A lot of", or "Most")technogical advances don't occur because someone says "We need a pen that will write upside down". The occur because they are necessary to a larger goal, i.e. writing in low/zero G.

I've seen a lot of discussion with sports metaphors that are not even generally applicable to the matter at hand. We aren't trying to run a marathon, we are advancing a frontier.

Liken it to the first sailors. "Gee, it would be cool to get all the way to that island", so they improved their boats to survive the trip. "There is an new colony 100 miles down the coast", so the improved the boats to make the voyage and to carry useful cargo, etc.. And so on.

To say that it isn't necessary to go to the Moon in order to get to Mars is, strictly speaking, correct. But it is a heck of a lot safer in terms of lives and investment to do so. Sure, you might prepare well and get lucky. But why take the chance.

The rational, and political (how rarely they coincide), reality is that if a step fails, the next step is a long way out. Fail on a manned mission to Mars and the funding and will to try again will be difficult to obtain. People and politicians are fickle, they love success but shy away from problems.

Enough rambling. Enjoy your day.




RE: Technology, Analogies, and misc.
By Snuffalufagus on 3/29/2006 3:12:08 AM , Rating: 2
NO, NO, NO, NO. If you want to live on the twentieth story you should never waste time and money building stairs that go to the other floors. That's just silly and no one will ever be able to justify doing so, next you'll want a fire extinguisher on a floor nobody lives on. God forbid we ever moved forward by building off of what we know today, we'd never get anywhere. :)


RE: Technology, Analogies, and misc.
By rcc on 3/29/2006 12:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
Paraphrased "Those that don't study history are doomed to repeat it".

Wish I could remember who said it. Patton?

So, you can't live on the 20th floor if no one has bothered to build floors 1-19.

You don't go directly from a SPAD to an Airbus. Or a papyrus boat to a Los Angeles class attack sub.

It is an iterative process.

But, in a fantasy world it would be neat to say, "I want the Starship Enterprise, and I want it tomorrow".



RE: Technology, Analogies, and misc.
By masher2 (blog) on 3/29/2006 3:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
> "Wish I could remember who said it. Patton?..."

Santayana actually.


RE: Technology, Analogies, and misc.
By rcc on 3/29/2006 5:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you.


By tvarad on 3/28/2006 1:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of sinking a gazillion dollars into such a wasteful and useless enterprise that is better left to robots (which are even now doing such a wonderful job on Mars), we need to spend the money on a crash program for alternate fuel sources.

Such a program has much more useful benefits for the earth including less dependence on middle-east despots, less pollution, hundreds of thousands of jobs and the like. It will also re-establish the U.S. tenuous lead in technology decisively.




By masher2 (blog) on 3/28/2006 3:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
> "we need to spend the money on a crash program for alternate fuel sources."

We already have a large number of alternative fuel sources. None are economically viable because gasoline is simply too amazingly cheap. Pumped up from thousands of feet underground or even below the ocean floor, shipped halfway around the world, and refined in multi-billion dollar installations, it is still cheaper than milk pumped out of your local cow.

The only possible method of making a fuel cheaper than this is one environmentalists don't want to hear. To beat oil with its energy collected free of charge by nature, we need an extremely cheap source of concentrated energy. And the only thing even close to feasible is large scale use of nuclear power, used to empower hydrogen production.



By tvarad on 3/29/2006 7:36:56 AM , Rating: 2
"We already have a large number of alternative fuel sources. None are economically viable because gasoline is simply too amazingly cheap."

Have you taken into account the number of wars that have been fought over oil (including the current one in Iraq) and the cost of clinging on to the Middle East despots?

As for nuclear power, maybe the moon-shot type program is setting up infrastructure for such an endeavor so that the questions about it's safety are answered adequately?


By masher2 (blog) on 3/29/2006 10:01:41 AM , Rating: 2
> "Have you taken into account the number of wars that have been fought over oil"

They're fought because we lack a cheap alternative...not because we lack no alternative whatsoever.

> "maybe the moon-shot type program is setting up infrastructure for such an endeavor..."

I wish it were so. But I see no reason to believe such to be the case.


> "so...questions about it's safety are answered adequately?
"


Questions about nuclear power's safety were all answered long ago. The Western world has rung up over 10,000 cumulative years of reactor operation without a single fatal accident-- a safety record far above any other power industry. Nuclear plants release far less radioactivity than do COAL powered plants...and the 'issue' of nuclear waste is a myth.


Oh, Puh-lease!
By Tuor on 3/27/2006 3:46:54 PM , Rating: 2
NASA can't even keep things in Earth orbit, and now they want to put a permanent base on the Moon?

You gotta learn to crawl before you can walk, NASA.




RE: Oh, Puh-lease!
By masher2 (blog) on 3/27/2006 4:03:37 PM , Rating: 2
Eh? The ISS has been in orbit 8 years...Hubble for 15...and neither of them are going to come down anytime soon unless we forcibly deorbit them. The Vanguard satellite has been orbiting for almost fifty years now...

I think its well established we're able to keep objects in orbit as long as we wish.


idea
By Wwhat on 3/28/2006 12:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
Here's an idea, why doesn't nasa first try to get in space, maybe a low orbit, then perhaps they can get into a higher orbit one day and then, when america didn't completely collapse into apemanstate under bush the 4th, they can think about going to the moon again.




RE: idea
By Regs on 3/28/2006 10:45:00 AM , Rating: 2
I see Bush's Educational plan failed too.


blahblah
By Visual on 3/27/2006 9:04:02 AM , Rating: 2
it is just talk so far, with no actual info on progress, timeframe or anything. not even a good reason as to why they'd do it, other than "everyone else wants to do it"

and im afraid with its limited population and practicly fake self-sufficiency, it will at most be a proof-of-concept experiment rather than a useful research station.

much better alternative would be if they work with all the other countries together for an actual colony. directly on mars if you ask me... for a safe "test-case" they can just make an underwater city or somesuch if they want.

we don't need a manned base on the moon, just an automated observatory.




RE: blahblah
By logan77 on 3/27/2006 9:34:26 AM , Rating: 1
Proof of concept of what ? If they could land there almost 40 years ago, what building a base there would proof further ? Probably that they dare to spend some 10bln $$ in such stupid way.
If you would like it to be comercial, then why NASA (governement agency) should play a role there at all ?

And one more "argument" for why go there (I mean Moon) - becouse China want to be there in some 10 years - also only to attain some prestige as a superpower and bla bla.
And to think, that on an orbit is a telescope for about 15 years (ment to be - what ? some two and a half ?), falling apart (gyroscopes) with no near future (James Webb Space Telescope "is scheduled for launch no earlier than June 2013") solution.
http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/

I don't say they do nothing, but they do much less that they actually could (insted we have war in Iraq, Superconducting Super Collider drowned - not to far from subject - NASA _is_ a government agency).
http://www.hep.net/ssc/


Maybe....
By Souka on 3/27/2006 6:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it'll be like that TV Show SPACE 1999 !?!!


(does that date me or what? :) )




nice
By Westfale on 3/27/06, Rating: 0
"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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